The United States is warning allies to be prepared to increase pressure on Syria if UN envoy Kofi Annan's plan for ending government attacks on the opposition fails, the State Department said Friday.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear to its partners at a meeting in Paris of the "Friends of Syria" group Thursday that "even as we plan for the best, we also have to be prepared if we are not successful to increase the pressure," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
Clinton said that would involve a new UN Security Council resolution under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, which authorizes foreign powers to take measures including military action if peace is threatened.
But Nuland said, "With regard to military assistance our policy, with regard to our own posture, has not changed."
She said Clinton had not told allies that Washington was reconsidering all aspects of its policy in light of the continuing violence in Syria.
Nuland said pressure would take the form of increased sanctions, travel bans, financial pressure and an arms embargo on the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
She said the US Agency for International Development also has increased US funding for humanitarian relief victims of the violence in Syria to nearly $33, up $8 million, distributed among UN agencies and non-governmental relief organizations.
Meanwhile, the United States was in discussions at the United Nations over a resolution authorizing a larger force of observers to monitor a shaky ceasefire in Syria, she said.
But Nuland said Washington wanted to make sure the monitors would have freedom of movement, communication and access.
"It's got to be a true, independent international monitoring effort under UN auspices and not under regime control," she said.
"And also it must be able to monitor not just the silencing of the guns but all aspects of the six-point plan," she said.
Source: AFP American Edition